John Boccieri again showed his disdain for area workers by supporting a radical change to American labor law.
The Youngstown area state Senator, who is seeking the 16th Congressional District seat, recently went on record supporting the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800) known to most as "card check."
"Workers should not live in fear of intimidation," said state Senator Kirk Schuring, Republican candidate from Jackson Township.
Schuring said he supports the right of any employee to unionize, but believes the traditional secret-ballot option must be maintained.
"This is about employees having free choice and the right to a secret ballot. Our American democracy is rooted in the privacy of our vote," Schuring said.
"This radical legislation would take away secret ballots and expose employees to possible intimidation tactics by union organizers. It could make for a potentially very uncomfortable work environment for millions of working men and women."
Schuring said H.R. 800 is harmful in several ways.
First, it requires the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union after a majority of a firm's workers has signed union cards, putting an end to almost all organizing elections.
Second, the EFCA requires companies and newly certified unions to enter binding arbitration if they cannot reach agreement on an initial contract after 90 days of negotiations. Neither companies nor employees could appeal the arbitrator's ruling, and the contract would last for two years.
Third, it would dramatically increase the penalties for unfair labor practices committed by employers, but not unions, during an organizing drive.
Some contend that the act would protect workers' freedom to freely choose to join a union. However, Schuring believes the American secret ballot is a worker's best defense against potential harassment, intimidation or even retaliation based on the public disclosure of a person's private decision.
"Secret ballots have worked effectively for years. Card check is not a move to help the rank and file workers in our shops and factories. In fact, it takes away their fundamental right, and that's why I oppose it," he said.